Russian Air Strikes Killed 14 People Fleeing Across The Euphrates River

Russian Air Strikes Killed 14 People Fleeing Across The Euphrates River.
Russia has in recent days intensified its air raids in support of Syrian regime forces battling jihadists across the country.

Russian air strikes killed 14 people fleeing across the Euphrates river on rafts in Mahadeen, the monitor said.

“They were crossing the river on makeshift rafts in a village south of Mayadeen,” Abdel Rahman said, adding that three children were among those killed overnight.

Abdel Rahman said the civilians were fleeing the village of Mahkan, south of Mayadeen, which lies about 420 kilometers (260 miles) east of Damascus and is one of the Daesh group’s main remaining bastions.

Mayadeen has been under Daesh control since 2014, when the group swept across swathes of Iraq and Syria and proclaimed a “caliphate,” but regime forces have tightened the noose around the town.

The state news agency SANA said government forces advancing from desert areas northwest of Mayadeen had moved to within five kilometers (three miles) of the town.

In Deir Ezzor province, Daesh still controls Mayadeen, eastern neighborhoods of the city of Deir Ezzor further up the Euphrates Valley, the town of Albu Kamal downstream on the Iraqi border, and several other smaller towns.

Moscow has been carrying out relentless air strikes in support of its ally Damascus targeting both IS in Deir Ezzor province and rival jihadists led by Al-Qaeda’s former Syria affiliate in Idlib province in the northwest.

The Daesh group, which once controlled a territory roughly the size of Britain, has seen its “caliphate” shrink steadily over the past two years and has lost all but a few of its main hubs in both Iraq and Syria.

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